The German state is prepared to take “fake news” to the next level and prosecute website operators with espionage.
From Deutsche Welle:
German lawmaker Patrick Sensburg, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), said in an interview with DW on Tuesday that the government needs to consider “ratcheting up the statutory offenses” against fake news producers and “take action against the people who run these websites.”
Several German politicians have called for legal measures to combat the growing phenomenon online, with Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) saying “we must stand together” against fake news and “social [media] bots.”
Who will decide what is fake news and what is not? The German state, led by “Social Democrats,” statists who believe it is the duty of government to enforce “social justice.” This has been its raison d’être since it abandoned Marxism in 1959.
Sensburg admitted the effort to censor unacceptable news and opinion is part of an effort to reaffirm “the population’s trust in the state.”
“He also noted that if the perpetrators form part of state-sponsored efforts to undermine society and democratic institutions, then they could be prosecuted under anti-espionage legislation,” the German newspaper reports.
The establishment media in the United States and Europe have pulled out all stops to blame Russia for both “fake news” and supposedly undermining the US election.
Now the Germans believe the same thing is may happen to them.
“German lawmakers have warned that Moscow may likely attempt to undermine the electoral process ahead of the 2017 Bundestag elections after reports that Russia fostered fake news in the run-up to the US election to boost support for Donald Trump.”
Civil libertarians on both continents warn about censorship and a curtailment of free speech, but this does not seem to dissuade those who believe the state has a duty to crack down on news and information contrary to that disseminated by a compliant corporate media.
It remains to be seen if the government in the United States will be able to shut down websites it accuses of producing fake news. For now, the First Amendment stands but in the future the government may either persuade or force the tech giants to impose restrictions on speech, especially if the fake news meme continues to dominate headlines.
It might take another idiot going into a pizzeria with a firearm, this time actually killing somebody, before the state forces Facebook, Google, et al to impose restrictions on speech disfavored by the state.